Use the right boxes, and pack them carefully. Professional moving companies use only sturdy, reinforced cartons. The boxes you can get at your neighborhood supermarket or liquor store might be free, but they are not nearly as strong or padded and can not shield your valuables as well from harm in transit.
Use sheets, blankets, pillows and towels to separate pictures and other fragile objects from each other and the sides of the carton. Pack plates and glass objects vertically, rather than flat and stacked.
Be sure to point out to your mover the boxes in which you’ve packed fragile items, especially if those items are exceptionally valuable. The mover will advise you whether those valuables need to be repacked in more appropriate boxes.
The heavier the item, the smaller the box it should occupy. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t lift the carton easily, it’s too heavy.
Label your boxes. Especially the ones containing sheets and towel. So you can find everything you need the first night in your new home. For your family’s safety and comfort teach your children your new address. Let them practice writing it on packed cartons.
You can lighten your load and reduce any storage space you need to rent by hosting a garage or yard sale.
Fill two “OPEN ME FIRST” cartons containing snacks, instant coffee or tea bags, soap, toilet paper, toothpaste and brushes, medicine and toiletry items (make sure caps are tightly secured), flashlight, screwdriver, pliers, can opener, paper plates, cups and utensils, a pan or two, paper towels, and any other items your family can’t do without. Ask your van foreman to load one of these boxes, so that it will be unloaded at your new home first. Why the second box? In case the movers are delayed getting to your house on the day of the move.
Fill out change of address order form for post office.
Fill out an IRS change of address form.
Make arrangements with moving company or reserve a rental truck.
Transfer memberships in churches, clubs and civic organizations.
Obtain medical and dental records, x-rays and prescription histories. Ask doctor and dentist for referrals and transfer prescriptions.
Set up a checking account in your new city.
Check into the laws and requirements of your new city regarding home-based businesses, professional tests, business licenses and any special laws that might be applicable to you.
Take inventory of your belongings before they’re packed, in the event you need to file an insurance claim later. If possible, take pictures or video tape your belongings. Record serial numbers of electronic equipment.
Make arrangements for transporting pets.
Start using up food items, so that there is less left to pack and possibly spoil.
Switch utility services to new address. Inform electric, disposal, water, newspaper, magazine subscription, telephone and cable companies of your move.
Arrange for help on moving day.
Confirm travel reservations.
Reserve elevator if moving from an apartment.
Have appliances serviced for moving.
Clean rugs and clothing and have them wrapped for moving.
Plan ahead for special needs of infants.
Close bank accounts and have your funds wired to your new bank. Before closing, be sure there are no outstanding checks or automatic payments that haven’t been processed.
Collect valuables from safe-deposit box. Make copies of any important documents before mailing or hand carry them to your new address.
Check with your insurance agent to ensure you’ll be covered through your homeowner’s or renter’s policy during the move.
Defrost freezer and refrigerator. Place deodorizer inside to control odors.
Give a close friend or relative your travel route and schedule so you may be reached if needed.
Double check closets, drawers, shelves, attic and garage to be sure they are empty.
Revise your will and other legal papers to avoid longer probate and higher legal fees.